Brigham Young University will leave the Mountain West Conference, go independent in football and rejoin the Western Athletic Conference in all non-football sports beginning in the fall of 2011, The Salt Lake Tribune confirmed Wednesday morning.
According to a source in the WAC office, BYU will seek final approval for the moves from its owner, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, either today or Thursday. Pending approval, a press conference is planned for early next week. But because of media reports that broke late Tuesday night, that timetable may change.BYU officials have apparently decided that the best business model for BYU to follow is that of another large, religious university with a prestigious football program - Notre Dame. And really it makes sense to leave the Mountain West - where in terms of tradition, facilities, and fan base BYU was clearly the king of the midgets. The Pac 10 allegedly picked Utah with is smaller national following over BYU because of BYU's religious affiliation and the only other major conference that made any sense for BYU, the Big 12, might only be around for until Texas, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma feel like they can't suck any more money out of the other 7 schools.
So BYU joins Army, Navy, and Notre Dame as the only conference-less teams in top-level college football. It may be a bit of reach but here's to hoping they score big. You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.
Thanks to Dr. Saturday for the heads-up.